MMA Regulation: What Needs to Happen to Get the Sport Legalized in New York

Matthew HemphillCorrespondent IIJanuary 3, 2012

It is 2012 and yet it is still impossible to see live mixed martial arts in Madison Square Garden.  There seems to be some kind of oddity in that.

For a long time, MMA has faced opposition from New York about the legalization of the sport.

It certainly was head-scratching.  Here was a way for a state in the middle of a bad economy to generate serious income for its constituents and, at the same time, become a destination mecca for one of the biggest growing sports in the world.

It seemed like a no-brainer.

And then it was revealed that some of those who were voting against the sport were doing so because of pressure from the culinary union.  They have even stated that the UFC is homophobic.

It's a bit ridiculous considering that the UFC is so global that being homophobic would only remove clientele, but it shows that unless the UFC and MMA have a lot of things to overcome.

So what is it going to take for MMA to become legal in New York?

Pressure and a lot of media attention.

In the history of most legal cases it comes down to interest groups.  The culinary union obviously most hold some serious leverage with the New York legislature.

The problem for them is they only have so much.  If enough New Yorkers and journalists alert people to what is going on and demand to see MMA legalized it will happen.

And that is because politicians are only friendly to those that help them stay in power.  The culinary has some power, but if the very people who keep those politicians in office show anger over the lack of MMA fights in their state then it will change.

So for once MMA fans have to find the time and energy to do what seems to come natural to them.

They have to complain.

Except this time they have to put that aggression towards those that they elected to serve them.  That might mean writing a letter or making a phone call, but it shouldn't be an e-mail.

A letter or a phone call shows that the person spent time on that task and that task alone to make sure it conveyed their feelings.

The other thing that fans can do is call their local media news outlets.  If enough people demand a story, the media will deliver because it will mean either ratings or papers bought.

Fans have the power with their vote and their dollar.  All they need to do is flex it and MMA will be legal before the year is out.

It is the single greatest thing about America.  Democracy.

Now we just need to see it take place in the very heart of the nation.

We just need to see New York legalize MMA.